Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Natura artifex Redux

Here are three images of Natura artifex, or Natura the artisan, standing at her forge. She uses a hammer and anvil to create new people out of existing archetypes.

You've seen this one before. Natura is forging new people out of parts.
Yale University, MS 418, fol. 282v. France, C15.
 AW, our DC correspondent, alerted me to this version, from a slightly later manuscript. Instead of limbs, she has a baby on the anvil, and dismembered baby bodies lie at her feet.
BL, MS Harley 4425, fol. 140. Flemish (Bruges), late C15.
 And then there's this one. A naked Natura stands at her forge, whanging away at a wang and Balzac.
Obscene pewter badge of Nature at her forge. Netherlands, late C15.Heilig en Profaan: Laatmiddeleeuwse Insignes in Cultuurhistorisch Perspectief. Amsterdam: Van Soeren, 1995.

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